With so many tech developments geared toward younger age brackets, it’s typically the younger generations who are able to embrace the benefits of technology. Technological advancements in robotics, though, have started to focus on the ways that robots can help those over age 65. With assistance from robots, seniors may soon be able to live healthier, more independent lives.
Robotic Technology Today
Technology today has started to focus on aiding seniors with dementia. A recent article published in Psychology Today highlights the ways in which current robotic technology can help dementia patients with self-care and other everyday tasks, while providing sensory stimulation for patients with general cognitive issues. But these robots aren’t cheap. At present, their price tag limits their availability, although some assisted-care facilities and rehabilitation hospitals are making the investment to help seniors live longer, healthier lives.
There are a number of more widespread ways that robots are used in the medical field today. Many seniors come into contact with surgical robots, which are used to perform intricate surgeries that can be difficult for unaided human hands. These robots are programmed to make precise movements through small incisions, offering patients faster recovery times. Rehabilitation robots are commonly used in physical therapy, and those with the need for prosthetics can be fitted with high-tech robotic limbs.
The Future of Robotic Technology and Senior Care
While robots will never replace the care a loved one can provide, the technology may evolve to help caregivers with a number of tasks. A household robot could, one day, allow seniors to live independently for longer periods of time, while providing reminders and bolstering seniors’ cognitive functions.
The most vital role these robots may play is in assisting seniors with everyday tasks. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, approximately two out of every three seniors need help with one or more daily activities. And as adults age, they often need increased assistance with basic self-care such as eating, bathing, or dressing.
In the future, monitoring robots may also enable those with severe cognitive issues — and those at a high fall risk — to be left alone for longer periods of time. This could boost the morale of such older adults, and allow caregivers to run errands or work outside the home with the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones are safe. The robotic technology that allows this to happen will most likely resemble an advanced version of the fall-detection technology that’s available in today’s personal medical alert devices.
Other Technologies for Aging in Place
These advances in robotic technology may still be a few years away; however, today, there are a number of other technologies that help seniors age in place, allowing them to live in their own homes for as long as possible. From grab bars to high-tech, mobile, medical-alert pendants, there are lots of options available to enable older adults to continue enjoying those things they love for years.